Senate vote unlikely this week on Rep. Ryan's House budget resolution

A Senate vote on the House budget resolution authored by Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year MORE (R-Wis.) “probably” won’t happen this week, a Democratic aide told The Hill on Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems search for winning playbook Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response The Memo: Immigration battle tests activists’ muscle MORE (D-Nev.) has vowed to force a vote on the Ryan budget in part because Democrats see a political advantage in getting Senate Republicans to go on the record supporting a resolution that calls for turning Medicare into a type of voucher system.

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Democrats hammered House Republicans on the vote during the two-week recess that just ended.

Reid said on the Senate floor Monday that the Senate will first deal with a small-business bill and then with subsidies for oil companies before turning to the Ryan budget.

Cutting Medicare spending to balance the federal budget is highly unpopular with voters, according to a new poll conducted for The Hill. Fifty-three percent of likely voters oppose any cuts, and 14 percent were unsure.

Decisions on the timing of the budget votes were to be made at a leadership meeting Monday, one aide said.

The Senate has been focused on a small-business bill that is being held up by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). She is demanding a vote on an amendment designed to change the way regulations affecting small businesses are issued.

The Ryan budget vote will be difficult for centrist Republicans. Already, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Overnight Tech: States sue FCC over net neutrality repeal | Senate Dems reach 50 votes on measure to override repeal | Dems press Apple on phone slowdowns, kids' health | New Android malware found Overnight Regulation: Dems claim 50 votes in Senate to block net neutrality repeal | Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule | Trump wants to loosen rules on bank loans | Pentagon, FDA to speed up military drug approvals MORE (R-Maine) has said she does not support the plan, which also cuts Medicaid and welfare.

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) vowed to force a potentially embarrassing vote on President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal, which the president has cast aside in favor of deeper deficit cuts.

A Republican aide said that vote would come when Democrats bring some budget resolution to the floor.

In a deal earlier this year, Reid agreed to allow a more open amendment process on the Senate floor in exchange for a reduction in holds and filibusters from the minority. 

That deal is being threatened by Snowe’s fight with Reid, an aide said.

An ugly Ryan budget vote could also complicate bipartisan talks by the Gang of Six, which is striving to release a deficit-reduction proposal this month.

Concord Coalition Executive Director Bob Bixby said that if Republicans take the Ryan budget vote seriously, it could damage the Gang of Six talks.

The Ryan plan eschews tax increases and largely exempts the military from spending cuts, and the vote could push Republicans into embracing that approach.

In this partisan atmosphere, Republican “gang” members Sens. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnRepublicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks Republicans should know reviving earmarks is a political nightmare Former GOP senator: Trump has a personality disorder MORE (R-Okla.), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoTrump calls for looser rules for bank loans in Dodd-Frank overhaul Week ahead: Lawmakers eye another short-term spending bill Overnight Finance: Trump promises farmers 'better deal' on NAFTA | Clock ticks to shutdown deadline | Dems worry Trump pressuring IRS on withholdings | SEC halts trading in digital currency firm MORE (R-Idaho) and Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissLobbying World Former GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party MORE (R-Ga.) would be under pressure to vote for the Ryan plan and to stop negotiating, he said.

Bixby said, however, that he thinks the GOP will treat the Ryan vote as a “political stunt” and simply vote against it on procedural grounds. The GOP would argue that it is not a Senate-crafted budget resolution and Reid should not have the power to put a House budget on the floor, he said.

Steve Bell of the Bipartisan Policy Center said the Reid move “creates more scar tissue” in the Senate and will make raising the debt ceiling and coming to a bipartisan agreement more difficult. He said he can see Republicans voting against the Ryan budget on procedural grounds to avoid the tough vote, however.